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Aperture Priority mode

From: Shooting with the Canon Rebel T3i (600D and Kiss X5)

Video: Aperture Priority mode

In Program mode, when you meter a scene by half-pressing the Shutter button, the camera calculates an appropriate shutter speed and aperture. There will times though when you know that you're going to want a lot of control of aperture. Maybe you are shooting portraits and you know that you want them all to have shallow depth of field. So you want to make certain that the camera is always using a wide aperture. Or, maybe you are out shooting landscapes and you know that you want really deep depth of field in all of your shots. So you want to make certain that you're always using a small aperture. Or, maybe you're street shooting and as you're shooting different subject matter, you're changing your mind about depth of field and so you want to easily be able to change from a big to small aperture.

Aperture Priority mode

In Program mode, when you meter a scene by half-pressing the Shutter button, the camera calculates an appropriate shutter speed and aperture. There will times though when you know that you're going to want a lot of control of aperture. Maybe you are shooting portraits and you know that you want them all to have shallow depth of field. So you want to make certain that the camera is always using a wide aperture. Or, maybe you are out shooting landscapes and you know that you want really deep depth of field in all of your shots. So you want to make certain that you're always using a small aperture. Or, maybe you're street shooting and as you're shooting different subject matter, you're changing your mind about depth of field and so you want to easily be able to change from a big to small aperture.

In Aperture priority mode, you can choose the aperture that you want. And when the camera meters, it will automatically pick a corresponding shutter speed that will yield a correct exposure. You've probably figured this out already, but to change to Aperture priority mode, I use the mode dial and I go right over here to the AV, Aperture Value. That's a good way of remembering what this does. I'm going to dial in an Aperture Value and the camera will calculate a corresponding shutter speed. So you can see on my display here I now have the aperture outlined and there are little arrows, that indicates that I can turn my dial here to change the aperture.

So let's say I am shooting a landscape and I want to guarantee deep depth of field. So I am going to dial in F11, a small aperture that's going to give me deeper depth of field. Now when I half-press the Shutter button to meter, I get a shutter speed that's going to work for my scene at that aperture. Conversely, let's say that I'm shooting a portrait and I want shallow depth of field to blur out the background. So I am going to open my iris up all the way and now when I meter, I have a faster shutter speed because I haven't changed my lighting conditions. So I always get the right shutter speed for whatever aperture that I've chosen.

Now notice that if I use Exposure Compensation while in Aperture Priority mode, the Exposure Compensation control will respect my aperture choice. So if I dial in some exposure, well, let me meter first, If I dial in some Exposure Compensation, only the shutter speed is changing. It will not change the aperture. Now this does mean that unlike Program mode, it is possible for me to get into a shutter speed that's possibly too slow for handheld.

Notice though that it didn't go below a 40th of a second in this case because I'm in Auto ISO. So when shutter speed got too low, it started cranking up the ISO. So again, this is an example of how smart the Exposure Compensation control is on this camera. Even in a Priority mode, if your ISO is in Auto, it's still working to safeguard your shutter speed as best it can. Aperture Priority does not allow you to take any shots that you couldn't take in Program mode using Program Shift. Rather, it simply provides you with a speedier way to get to the aperture-based exposure settings that you want.

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This video is part of

Image for Shooting with the Canon Rebel T3i (600D and Kiss X5)
Shooting with the Canon Rebel T3i (600D and Kiss X5)

88 video lessons · 21515 viewers

Ben Long
Author

 
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  1. 5m 59s
    1. Welcome
      1m 27s
    2. What is an SLR?
      2m 39s
    3. How to use this course
      1m 53s
  2. 22m 33s
    1. Basic camera anatomy
      2m 39s
    2. Attaching a lens to your camera
      2m 36s
    3. Batteries and media cards
      2m 44s
    4. Powering up
      2m 38s
    5. Menu navigation and factory defaults
      4m 1s
    6. Setting the date and time
      1m 31s
    7. Setting the language
      1m 7s
    8. Formatting the media card
      2m 48s
    9. Holding the camera
      2m 29s
  3. 21m 23s
    1. Setting Auto mode
      4m 14s
    2. The viewfinder display
      5m 31s
    3. The LCD screen
      2m 15s
    4. Autofocus basics
      2m 38s
    5. Lens controls
      1m 17s
    6. Flash in Auto mode
      1m 26s
    7. Image review
      2m 28s
    8. Image playback
      1m 34s
  4. 21m 14s
    1. What Program mode does
      1m 57s
    2. Exposure compensation
      2m 15s
    3. Metering revisited
      1m 57s
    4. Changing ISO
      2m 51s
    5. Program shift
      2m 30s
    6. Image format and size
      4m 21s
    7. Creative Auto mode
      2m 20s
    8. The Info button
      1m 17s
    9. The Quick Control button
      1m 46s
  5. 6m 21s
    1. Manually selecting a focus point
      2m 33s
    2. Focus modes
      1m 19s
    3. Manual focus
      2m 29s
  6. 7m 30s
    1. Auto white balance
      1m 54s
    2. White balance presets
      2m 7s
    3. Manual white balance
      3m 29s
  7. 8m 56s
    1. Drive mode
      3m 16s
    2. The self-timer
      2m 19s
    3. Remote controls and Bulb mode
      3m 21s
  8. 19m 38s
    1. Metering modes
      2m 19s
    2. Exposure lock
      56s
    3. Aperture Priority mode
      2m 50s
    4. Depth-of-field preview
      2m 11s
    5. Shutter Priority mode
      2m 23s
    6. Manual mode
      2m 46s
    7. Auto exposure bracketing
      2m 34s
    8. Auto lighting optimizer
      1m 59s
    9. Peripheral illumination correction
      1m 40s
  9. 18m 0s
    1. Metadata display
      3m 2s
    2. LCD brightness
      52s
    3. Rotation
      1m 4s
    4. Rating images
      1m 43s
    5. Applying creative filters
      2m 6s
    6. Protecting and deleting images
      3m 26s
    7. File numbering options
      2m 51s
    8. Creating folders
      48s
    9. Copyright information
      2m 8s
  10. 4m 55s
    1. What is a scene mode?
      1m 8s
    2. Scene modes and image formats
      3m 47s
  11. 6m 34s
    1. Fill flash
      1m 2s
    2. Flash exposure compensation
      1m 52s
    3. Red-eye reduction
      1m 36s
    4. Night Portrait scene mode
      2m 4s
  12. 6m 59s
    1. Picture styles defined
      2m 7s
    2. Selecting a picture style
      1m 38s
    3. Adjusting predefined styles
      2m 20s
    4. Monochrome picture styles
      54s
  13. 13m 53s
    1. Activating Live view
      4m 42s
    2. Focusing in Live view
      5m 31s
    3. Aspect ratio
      1m 35s
    4. Live view's drawbacks
      2m 5s
  14. 12m 55s
    1. Configuring and activating video
      5m 17s
    2. Focusing
      4m 6s
    3. Exposure control
      2m 11s
    4. Movie playback
      1m 21s
  15. 15m 6s
    1. Custom menus
      2m 11s
    2. Custom functions
      1m 31s
    3. Exposure level increments
      1m 0s
    4. ISO expansion
      1m 8s
    5. Long exposure noise reduction
      1m 9s
    6. High ISO speed noise reduction
      1m 46s
    7. Highlight tone priority
      1m 53s
    8. AF-assist beam firing
      56s
    9. Mirror lockup
      1m 17s
    10. Shutter/AE Lock button
      2m 15s
  16. 4m 37s
    1. Camera and sensor cleaning
      1m 4s
    2. Operating conditions and temperatures
      2m 9s
    3. Firmware updates
      1m 24s
  17. 23s
    1. Goodbye
      23s

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